Belmont is a MidContent Wolfdog (60.9%). He is a rescue who had been starved, abused, and locked in a basement for 4 months before his rescue.
His owner, Megan, has beautifully described their ongoing journey:
I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t even truly prepared, but when I saw the picture of Belmont, something whispered a silent buzz in my ear that this was my purpose and that he was meant to be mine.
So, I made my choice and my preparations began. It was late in the night, the sun had set hours beforehand and the dark hand of night had stretched its fingers across the sky turning everything to black. The weather was cool and the ac ran slow as I sat nervously on my couch with my friend Zak on the opposite end.
In just a few minutes my whole life was about to change; my expectations and reality would be vastly different as well as the drastic steps that would lead to who Belmont is now would begin, in just those few minutes our journey was about to start.
It was the 15th of October around 10:35 p.m when I heard a knock on the door; I opened it fast, my heart beating wildly in my chest. There John stood, a smile on his face as he handed me a dirty, emaciated trembling thing that proceeded to defecate all over itself, me and my kitchen tile.
When I got Belmont, he was 5 months old, weighed only 23lbs, and was completely feral. He was so scared, shaking and whale-eyed, defecating in fear at the mere sight of a human. He lay cowering in a corner of my kitchen on a faded blue towel as I spent hours wiping up the mess around him and on him so as to not scare him even more with a mop.
The stench of his stress and fear will forever be burned into my nose. I had never smelt anything close to it before and hope to never again. He was so scared of everything – biting and shutting down and gave off the fear stench 24/7 (Wolfdogs have an active scent gland on their tail).
Our Journey had begun and I realized this was going to be a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. The first few days were filled with the stench of fear and the sound of my steam cleaner as I cleaned up fear poop after fear poop.
I felt like I was getting nowhere, balancing him, work and at that point, my own mental health. I was running on 2-3 hours of sleep at most for the first month. Not quite the journey I had thought it would be. I felt I was on empty, trying everything I could from scent clothing, to sleeping with him on the floor, and hand feeding; yet, I felt we were the same as the night I had gotten him.
I was at my wits end, thinking maybe he was just too far gone, because nothing I did was helping, when I was struck with a realization. I was trying to do this alone with him and that’s not what he needed.
The next morning, with tired eyes and rumpled hair, I opened the door upon a knock and there stood my friend Anne with her 80lb goldendoodle named Oliver. The change was instantaneous, Belmont shot out from the corner of the table, his tail wagging for the first time since I had gotten him and high hyena-like noises escaping his mouth as he licked and licked and licked.
Oliver thought it was the greatest thing ever as they played and played. I was able to touch Belmont, play with them both and have his guard lowered around me for those few hours. That night as I prepared to sleep on the floor with him for the millionth time, I realised he didn’t fear poop at all that day.
The next morning, I woke to the strangest thing. Belmont wanting me to play with him; he was still scared and nervous, but would allow me to play tentatively with him and toys. Within that week, with more playdates abound, he began to sleep on his back next to me, his belly pointed towards the ceiling.
Slowly, step by step, his true personality was revealed. He was goofy and derpy. Tentative in new situations, but willing to try them out if he had friends there to guide him. He began to relax and enjoy going to the dog parks, learning that humans didn’t equal pain, hurt or hunger. He learned they meant friends, soft spoken words and fun.
He was truly changing, becoming the dog he was meant to be. I couldn’t have been more proud. He’s come so far, but still has a long way to go. Everyday he gets better and he blows me away with the strides he makes.
He’s completely unrecognizable from the broken little thing that was placed in my arms. He’s completely transformed allowing his true self to shine through with patience, time, effort, a while lot of work and a village behind him giving him the support he needed.
I was told, “He’s too broken. He’ll never be comfortable outside an enclosure. He’ll never be able to be in public, etc.” The original Rescuer herself was even told by a Wolfdog Sanctuary that, “The kindest thing she could do was euthanise him due to his fear and trauma.”
Belmont not only proved them all wrong, but he blew expectations out of the water and is continuing to grow more everyday.
He’s super sweet, does amazing with both big/small dogs, can now be walked in public, is 100% house trained (No crate necessary! Though he is crate trained for emergencies only), is recall trained and a slowly learning to allow strangers to pet him and come closer to him on leash. If that’s not impressive enough, he also lives with 2 cats!
I wake up every morning grateful, remembering the scared timid thing he used to be. I smile as I grab his leash and he gets excited, ready to go to the park. The journey is far from over, but we’re taking it a day at a time, side by side, as it was meant to be.
by Megan Hickman
Isn’t that a beautiful story? Thank you so much Megan for allowing me to share it.